Saluting a significant year for the Warragul Cycling Club, members celebrated the end of the Winter-Spring racing series combined with a Christmas BBQ break-up at the club velodrome on Saturday night.
The Winter-Spring series was a season of change for the Club for a number of reasons. Measures to increase the safety of participants and comply with new regulations were introduced, requiring a committed effort by regular racers to volunteer for road marshalling duties. Behind the scenes, the Club established guidelines for all events, and sought (and finally discovered) a commissaire (race umpire) to supervise each event. In addition to these changes, two new challenging racing circuits were introduced at Old Sale Road and Buln Buln, which were well received by members. The season also saw an unusually large number of soaking Saturdays and poor racing conditions! Finally, the Club was extremely encouraged by the growing number of women competing each week and making a real force de resistance in the peloton.
Sitting atop the season points tally for D grade were Glenda Pridmore and Lawrence Maskill. The two women battled it out for honours in the final weeks of the season, with Glenda’s strong and consistent form paying off to take the title by seven points to Lawrence, competing in her first season of racing. Fellow new club member, Shaun Porter, was third on the tally. For C grade, season honours were awarded to new Warragul resident Trent Brown, who also maintained a narrow margin to second placed Rob Monk. Coming into third position was junior Michael Pridmore. A lean series on the bike proved the right combination in B grade as student and junior Steve Sandner combined homework with a regular Saturday afternoon blitzing of the field to take the series win. Coming into second place was regular working horse Pete Bailey, followed by Tim Lee in third. The A grade series was again claimed by Thomas Sandner, making it a very successful year for the Sandner family. Thomas maintained a healthy margin to steady improver Jason Kruger and irregular attendee Wayne Chester.
Also held on Saturday was the Club’s final race event for the year – an Individual Time Trial at the Lillico circuit.
In hot, dry and blustery conditions, the day proved an earlier indicator of form for the upcoming summer crit series. It was also a great opportunity for some to show off their shiny pieces of wind resistance reducing machinery.
Slicing through the wind first for one Lillico lap, Geoff Gatt set the scene for D grade with a terrific run of 19.31. In his wake, only Helmut Korab was able to claim any seconds off the set time, coming home in 19.26.
Rob Monk proved why he rode in B grade the previous week by smashing this week’s C grade field with a time of 17.16. Spinning sensation Paul Yeatman, who clocked 17.28, closely followed him.
A two-lap time trial was set for A and B grades, requiring starters to ensure they saved enough kick in their legs for the final rollercoaster climbs along Lillico Road. Standing next to the space-age specialist time trial gear was Chris Beales, riding a single speed bike for improving form and fitness. The singulator fared well in his first lap, but slowed over the second to roll home in 37.21.
Also having a great first lap was Phil Gallagher, returning to racing after a long stay in hibernation. A puncture at the end of the first lap caused breathing difficulties and an early retirement. Last to start, Chris Hunt possessed both form and a constant stream of cyclists ahead of him to chase down. By the end of lap one he had collected half the field, and effectively used his energy reserves over the second lap to set a scorching 30.21. Jason Kruger was the next fastest with a time of 33.04, followed by Steve Sandner on 33.27.
Next year’s racing series will kick off on January 8 th with the first of the Warragul summer crit series. Racing starts at Burke Street from 2pm. All levels of experience are catered for with four racing grades on offer, so come and join in one of the most exciting forms of racing. Interested cyclists are reminded they must have a current 2005 CycleSport Victoria racing licence (or receipt) in order to race. These can be obtained from Phil Gallagher at Bike Land prior to the day. The recreational RideIt group will kick off their summer on January 9 th with a ride and coffee starting from the velodrome at 9am.